At a Glance ...

Femminineo named to fill vacancy on 41B District Court

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday  appointed Jacob Femminineo, Jr. to the 41B District Court in Clinton Township.

“Jacob Femminineo is a qualified professional with a wealth of education and experience,” Whitmer said. “I have the full confidence that he will perform his responsibilities with thoroughness, dignity and respect for all.” 

Femminineo received his law degree from Detroit College of Law and his bachelor’s degree and master of public administration from Wayne State University.

He is the managing partner of Femminineo Attorneys, PLLC and an adjunct professor at Macomb Community College. 

The appointment was made to fill a partial term, which expires Jan. 1, 2021, after Judge Linda Davis stepped down effective April 1.

This appointment is not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

State lawmakers add $10M to exoneree compensation fund

LANSING (AP) — Michigan lawmakers have finalized a $10 million spending bill to replenish a nearly depleted fund that compensates people who were wrongfully convicted of crimes, sending it to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for her expected signature.

The state account, created under a 2016 law that compensates exonerees $50,000 for each year spent in a state prison, is projected to have a shortfall in the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

“That fund is essentially bankrupt,” said Rep. Steven Johnson, sponsor of the legislation that won unanimous Senate approval last Thursday after earlier clearing the House.

It would add $10 million and also require the state attorney general to issue quarterly reports detailing payments made from the fund, those ordered but not yet paid and the number of known claims pending.

The measure is “going to help out a lot of people that we wronged. Hopefully, this doesn’t happen again,” said Johnson, a Wayland Republican.

The state has given or is in the process of awarding $5.7 million in compensation to eight exonerees, according to the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency. Outstanding claims total between $21 million and $24 million.

Whitmer had proposed adding $20 million to the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Fund, half this fiscal year and half in the budget that starts in October. The bill would cover her request for the current budget year.

Man accused of flushing grandparent’s ashes down toilet

MCKEESPORT, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a western Pennsylvania man flushed his grandparents' ashes down a toilet after his mother kicked him out of her home.

The Tribune-Review reports that Thomas Wells was arraigned Monday on two counts of abuse of a corpse and a criminal mischief charge.

McKeesport police say the 33-year-old Pittsburgh man had been staying with his mother for a brief time before she asked him to leave last September.

The mother told police in February that a relative told her Wells had flushed her parents' ashes before he left. The ashes were kept in a box in the mother's bedroom.

Authorities say Wells told his mother he had not flushed the ashes down a toilet.

But the mother says Wells later said he would flush her remains after she dies.